South African-born Marnus Labuschagne has been named in Australia’s preliminary squad for the Ashes series later this year.
Labuschagne has relished a superb stretch of form for Glamorgan in the United Kingdom’s County Championship. Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, whose suspension for ball-tampering during the 2018 tour of South Africa ended late last year, has also been named in the 25-man party, which will later be reduced to 16.
‘Cameron was making a fair amount of headway when he played Test cricket last for Australia and that was in South Africa,’ said chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.
‘I think it’s been well documented that he was our leading run-scorer in South Africa. What he’s done is he’s got on with business since he’s been able to play again, he’s playing with Durham in the County Championship, so he’s doing everything he possibly can to get himself back into consideration and back into the Australian squad.
‘He’s scoring runs on a pretty regular basis so he has been included in that 25-man squad along with two other players, Labuschagne and Peter Siddle. We’ve nominated 25 players, 25 doesn’t go into 16 so there’s going to be some disappointments, but all we can do is try to select a squad that we think can win the Ashes in English conditions.’
All-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, meanwhile, have been overlooked, while limited-overs wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey has been included on the back of an impressive World Cup campaign.
Preliminary squad: Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Patrick Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, Kurtis Patterson, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
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